Retailers large and small are announcing extended hours heading into the final stretch, and some are growing more innovative in their efforts to attract shoppers. Toys R Us and Macy's will keep stores open round the clock in the weekend before Christmas, and Kohl's will pick up the tab for one shopper per store each day until Christmas Eve.
While the unemployment levels in STEM fields are much lower than in most other industries, some experts say simply having a degree in science, technology, engineering or math is not a guarantee of a job. Careers in petroleum engineering, for example, may offer more opportunities than those in biology.
Gasoline shortages in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy highlighted pre-existing problems in the northeastern U.S. supply chain, analysts say. Four days after the storm, East Coast refineries were operating at 58.5% of capacity, compared with 81% before the storm, according to the Energy Information Administration. "The problem we see in the Northeast emphasizes the importance of having more refining capacity in other parts of the country besides the Gulf Coast," said Gregg Laskoski of GasBuddy.
The application of a "nano-mesh" to plastics dramatically reduced the amount of reflected light, increasing the efficiency of solar cells by as much as three times, according to research conducted at Princeton University. The nano-mesh demonstrated a 52% greater efficiency in light-to-energy conversion over conventional cells in direct sunlight and as much as 175% greater efficiency on cloudy days.
Pfizer will spend $100 million over five years to establish a research site in Boston's Longwood Medical Area. The drug giant will collaborate with medical institutions and academic scientists to speed up translation of biomedical discoveries into drug development.